The Boy Scouts of America organization that serves Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee will oppose a proposal that would allow gay boys to participate.
In a May 14 press release, the Sequoyah Council’s board stated that its delegates to the Boy Scouts national council meeting in Texas will vote against the policy change on Thursday, May 23.
The membership policy currently states that Boy Scouts of America does not inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers or members, but does not grant membership to “open or avowed homosexuals” or those “who engage in behavior that would become a distraction” to its mission.
The national executive committee has proposed a resolution stating that “no youth may be denied membership . . . on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
Sequoyah Council Chief Executive Officer W. David Page was quoted as stating that the organization’s parents, leaders and partners “believe that the current membership policy is a core value of the Scout Oath and Law.”
He continued: “Our delegates who will be voting members on the proposed resolution at the national business meeting on May 22-24th will not vote to approve the resolution, but to retain the current membership policy.”
Board President Parker Smith said, “We are continuing to uphold the standards, beliefs and traditions Scouting has held for over 100 years.”
According to an Associated Press report, the proposed policy would retain a ban on gays serving in adult leadership positions.
More than 200,000 Scout leaders, parents and youth members responded to a national survey sent out starting in February, with 61 percent supporting the existing policy and 34 percent opposing, according to the report.